The head of the nation's third-largest public healthcare system is calling on hospital leaders to aggressively promote inclusion and to reduce healthcare disparities, particularly among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender patient populations.
In a speech delivered before a packed ballroom at the annual meeting of the American College of Healthcare Executives, in Chicago, Dr. Ram Raju, CEO of the Cook County Health & Hospitals System, urged healthcare executives to tackle the issue of healthcare inequality head-on.
"At no time in history is your expertise needed as much as it is today," Raju said.
Racial, ethnic and socioeconomic minority patients often go without care because of a lack of insurance coverage, mistrust of the healthcare system and other factors. And when those patients do seek care, their health outcomes are often worse, Raju added.